Where are you from and when did you first move away from your home country?
I lived most of my life in central British Columbia, Canada. I grew up in the country, we likes to get dirty and do things like mountain biking and fishing. I left Canada two years ago and yes the time has sure flown.
Where are you living now? What are you doing there?
Jaco, Costa Rica which is a small beach town that fills up with tourists in the high season from November to April. The town attracts many locals on the weekends and holidays because it is the closet beach from the capital San Jose. I opened up a ropes course canopy tour named Jaco Ropes. Basically it is an obstacle course in the trees with ladders, bridges, tires, cargo net, Tarzan swing and the best part is the surfing in the air. Also we have a Quickjump which is a freefall, kind of like a bungee and rappelling down a giant tree. We are currently building a zip line that will be opening in November.
Do you speak the local language?
I am learning every day and feeling more and more comfortable. I learned from an online course named Rocket Spanish a little but most my Spanish I learned from interacting with people. I will say that Netflix has been a huge help because I turn on the subtitles. I am the best at reading and writing and descent at talking but hearing people talk can be difficult when people talk fast.
Have you lived in any other countries as an expat?
No but I have done a lot of traveling. I spent 3.5 months in New Zealand and Australia.
What do you love most about living in Costa Rica?
The fruit is absolutely amazing and I love the healthy lifestyle that I live here. The fact that it is an endless summer paradise makes it hard not to love every aspect but it can be difficult.
What’s the toughest part of life there?
Dealing with what is called “tico time” Ticos are locals and they are always late. They don’t seem to have much respect for others time. You may make an appointment in the city and go 2 hours out of the way and whoever you are meeting might not be around and they won’t bother letting you know. Things just seem to take much longer here compared to what I am used to back in Canada.
What do you miss the most from home?
My family and friends but also the outdoor activities that I use to partake in such as skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.
What has surprised you the most about life in Costa Rica?
The roads are pretty good but the drivers are not. You have to be paying attending and careful when driving here.
When people come to visit you, what’s the one hidden gem that you always show them?
Playa Hermosa is located about 5-10 minutes south on Jaco and it is world renowned for surfing, the black sand beach is beautiful. Every Saturday there is a cool surf competition worth checking out in Hemosa. About 20 minute to the north of Jaco is the beautiful Playa Blanca (white beach) the best free activity to do close to Jaco is hike up to Miro Mountain, you can actually take a vehicle up there if you like, check out a video here.
What’s the tastiest local dish and where can we find it?
Tres Leches (3 milk) it is a dessert. It is very popular so you can find it at most super markets and restaurants.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone moving to Costa Rica, what would it be?